Who says that farming doesn't pay? Before taking a field editor position with Farm Progress this past spring, I had operated my family's fourth generation farm full-time for over 25 years. Over that period, some of the rewards of a farming life have been financial and others were less tangible. I've also had my share of comical trials and errors, and on a few occasions I've even learned from my mistakes.
In addition to writing mostly for Nebraska Farmer and Dakota Farmer magazines, I still operate the same farm as my great grandfather near Crofton, Nebraska, a little more than a stone's throw from the Missouri River and the South Dakota border. That's why I've named my new blog for Farm Progress, "Husker Home Place." In this space I'll share the humor, challenges and joys of farming the family's old home place and what it feels like to literally walk in the footsteps of my farming ancestors on a daily basis. My wife, Donna, and I have four children, daughters Lauren, age 11 and Taylor, age 8 and sons, Zachary, age 4 and our newest addition in October, Benjamin.
Donna is an English teacher at St. Rose Catholic School in Crofton. Our life on the farm is busy, much like most families. In addition to growing corn, soybeans and hay, we run a small cow-calf herd. Our family keeps active with school and church activities during the school year and with ballgames, gardening and 4-H critters in the summer.
Farming has changed dramatically since I began. Yet, many of the good things about farm life remain. Our children have ample opportunities to play hide and seek in a hay field and bottle feed baby calves. Our commute to Mother Nature is as easy as opening the front door, and we can view the spectacular sunset and billions of stars at night from our front porch.
It's a great place to raise a family and a great place to be. So, as you will learn more about my farming trials and challenges in this space in the coming weeks, I did get two things right. I chose to marry a wonderful woman and to raise my family on the farm. Who says that farming doesn't pay?